1st cycle – Webinar 1

1st cycle – INNOVCARE Webinar n°1

Technology: technology applications and technology design for older adults in need of care

Wednesday 16 March 2022, 9 am to 11 am (France) / 5 pm to 7 pm (Japan) – Online

  • James Wright,The Alan Turing Institute – Are robots the solution to Japan’s care crisis?
  • David Servais, Forum des Living Labs Santé et Autonomie – Presentation of the Forum LLSA – a user-centered approach

Are robots the solution to Japan’s care crisis? – James Wright (The Alan Turing Institute)

Like other post-industrial economies, including France, Japan is in the grip of an escalating care crisis. The care needs of older people are growing, and there do not seem to be enough caregivers available to address them. Robots have been repeatedly presented as a high-tech solution to this crisis by elements of the Japanese government, particularly under former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and large sums of public money have been invested in their development and implementation over the past decade.

This talk draws on 18 months of ethnographic fieldwork undertaken in Japan since 2016 at a national research institute working on the world’s largest care robot project, and at an elder care home introducing three different care robots. It examines how such robots are being developed and used, how they reconfigure aspects of care work, and how they might transform the industry in the future.

I aim to show how, when we cut through the stereotypes, myths, and techno-utopian hype about Japan’s relationship with robots, the proposed robotic solution to the care crisis raises fundamental questions about the relationship between productive and reproductive labour under neoliberal capitalism, and in the process reveals alternative possibilities for caring futures.

Presentation of the Forum LLSA – a user-centered approach – David Servais (Forum des Living Labs Santé et Autonomie)

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